Penpix of the key figures at the royal wedding
Here are brief profiles of the main participants at the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton:
Has matured from shy teenager into the future face of the monarchy. Studied geography at St Andrews University. Became an army officer but was blocked from front-line service. Now a search and rescue helicopter pilot in rural Wales.
Privately educated, art history student Middleton met William at St Andrews. They moved in together. After graduating, worked for her parents' business and was a buyer for a clothing company. Has impressed in her early engagements.
QUEEN ELIZABETH II
Grandmother of the groom, 85
Her Majesty has reigned since 1952. A steadfast monarch in a changing world, the Queen has been an impeccable sovereign through nearly 60 years of duty, a figure of constancy who has overseen post-war Britain into the new millennium.
PRINCE PHILIP, DUKE OF EDINBURGH
Grandfather of the groom, 89
Philip has been at the queen's side since they wed in 1947. A naval officer, he served in World War II and witnessed the Japanese surrender. Highly active, he is renowned for his off-the-cuff remarks.
Best man, 26
Aged 13 when his mother died, William's younger brother went straight from school into the army. Was dogged by stories of misdemeanour and misjudgement but served on the front line in Afghanistan.
Maid of honour, 27
Like her sister, Pippa was educated at private schools. She graduated in English literature from Edinburgh University. Pippa runs The Party Times, which promotes her parents' firm. Often seen with her sister on London nights out.
PRINCE CHARLES, PRINCE OF WALES
Father of the groom, 62
The heir to the throne has spent a lifetime preparing to be king. Fairytale marriage to Diana, princess of Wales disintegrated. Outspoken on the environment and architecture and heads wide-ranging Prince's Trust charity.
CAMILLA, DUCHESS OF CORNWALL
Stepmother of the groom, 63
Charles' former mistress married the heir in 2005. Uses one of her husband's lesser titles and has kept a low profile accompanying him on visits. Intends to become princess consort upon Charles' accession to the throne.
Father of the bride, 62
The son of a pilot, Middleton worked as a flight dispatcher and later as an airline officer for British Airways. Married in 1980. The couple founded their Party Pieces partyware business in 1987, which was to make their fortune.
Mother of the bride, 56
Carole Goldsmith was a flight attendant who met her husband in the 1970s. The couple also have a son, James, born in 1987. Was criticised for apparently chewing gum at William's army graduation parade.
ROWAN WILLIAMS, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY
Leader of the Church of England, 60
The archbishop will marry the royal couple, in line with precedent. The spiritual leader of the world's Anglicans is a softly-spoken, wordy theologian who has battled to keep the faith's branches united over gay and women bishops.
© 2011 AFP